No. 26 - The Uniting (Methodist) Church at Bracknell

Bracknell is a small country town on the banks of the Liffey River and is located about 15 kilometres west of Cressy.  An unusual aspect of the town is that all the streets have been given female names, a feature which dates back to the time when the town was laid out.  Although a small settlement, Bracknell once had several places of worship including; Anglican; Catholic; Methodist and Baptist churches. Of these, only the Baptist church remains active.  

Bracknell’s Uniting Church had its origins in an earlier Primitive Methodist Church built in 1863 [see No. 461]. Following the Methodist Union in 1902,  a new Methodist church was built in 1922.  It was designed by Mr H. Masters and built by ‘Craw and Howe’, of Launceston. The foundation stone was laid in April 1922, the ceremony being reported by the Launceston Examiner:

“The ceremony of laying of the foundation stone of the new Methodist Church at Bracknell took place on Good Friday afternoon in the presence of a large gathering, representative of the different parts of the district. Prior to the ceremony a service was held, which was conducted by the Rev. Herbert Williams, of Longford, and Rev. L. Perkins, of Bracknell. An adjournment was afterwards made to the site of the building, when the stone was laid by Mr. Basil Archer, of “Woodside.”  Before performing that ceremony Mr. Archer delivered a very appropriate address. He expressed gratification that it had at last been found possible to proceed with the erection of the new church. He hoped that the building, when completed, would fill a worthy place in the life of the community.…”

The building was completed by the middle of the year and was officially opened on Sunday 6 August.  The Daily Telegraph reported:

“On Sunday last a new Methodist Church was opened at Bracknell. The preacher for the day was the Rev. W. Rowse, chairman of the Launceton District Synod, who was assisted by the circuit ministers, Revs. Herbert Williams and Leslie Perkins.  The services were conducted afternoon and evening, and it is estimated 500 people attended in the afternoon and 350 at night. Fully 150 people were unable to get into the building in the afternoon. The addresses delivered by the preachers were full of inspiration, and greatly appreciated”. 

The church is listed on the Tasmanian Heritage Register where it is described as being “clad in weatherboard to the window level, with cement sheeting above. Cement tiles imitating slate, clad the gable roof. Rafters have been left exposed. Windows are paired vertical casements of small panes. The simple nave has been decorated with a faceted apse and a prominent tower. The tower features louvre screens at the upper level with trefoil openings. A squat spire extends from the tower. To the rear is a small cemetery contemporary with the church, and featuring a variety of monument forms and styles.” The architectural style is characterised as Victorian Carpenter Gothic.

The Bracknell Methodist church became part of the Uniting Church in Australia in 1977.  Services  ceased in the late 1990’s and the property was sold in 2004.  It was subsequently restored and converted into an attractive residence. The church is currently for sale. See linked article HERE 




Photograph: Duncan Grant 2018



The Methodist church at Bracknell built in 1922: The Weekly Courier, Thursday 21 September 1922
Undated later photograph of the church.  Photo supplied by Ivan Badcock


Sources:

Examiner, Wednesday 19 April 1922 page 3 
Examiner, Saturday 12 August 1922 page 7

Daily Telegraph, 
Mon 14 August 1922, page 8

The Weekly Courier, Thursday 21 September 1922

Brochure:  The Centenary of the Bracknell Methodist Church (1963) - Souvenir History

Stansall, M. E. J and Methodist Church of Australasia Tasmanian Methodism, 1820-1975 : compiled at the time of last Meeting of Methodism prior to union. Methodist Church of Australasia, Launceston, Tas, 1975.

https://www.domain.com.au/news/this-home-perfect-for-births-deaths-and-marriages-is-for-sale-in-tasmania-818153/

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